Simply Eden Products Are Paradise For Your Skin

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Athena Steadman stands outside her store where she makes the most amazing soaps and lotions.

Actors, directors, and just plain celebrity watchers come to Park City every year to see the films , see who is who , and visit the special gifting suites at Sundance. One of the most popular ones is the Indie Lounge. Entrepreneurs bring their products to these lounges in the hopes they can give them to an influencer or celebrity who will share them on social media. I got the chance to get some really great products to try and these soaps and lotions are one of those.

Simply Eden products come from the unspoiled mountains in Utah. The founder of the company is Athena Steadman . A diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis caused her to leave a fast paced life to go back to the basics. This led her to realize that the regular soaps and lotions were too harsh for sensitive skin. She found out that goat’s milk had vitamins and minerals and natural fats. These products have the most amazing scents and make your skin feel as pampered as the most expensive boutiques and spas. I got to try some of these products which proved to be a Godsend in the arctic Chicago weather. Here are a few of my favorites.

I am a huge fan of Bath and Body Works products and also miss my late and lamented Victoria Secret Pear Glace products as well. I think that smells evoke memories and emotions. The goat milk that is used in the soaps comes from very well treated Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats. The milk is used to make the lotions and soaps. I am totally in love with the Grapefruit Peppermint and Poppyseed soap. It is so creamy, just needs to be a little bit more foamy.  I do love the light fragrance and the grapefruit smell does wonders for my depression from the winter weather.

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Picture the sunny pink grapefruit from Southern climes mixed with a refreshing peppermint. You have the Grapefruit Peppermint soap sprinkled with poppyseed and essential oils.

Another product has such a classy name and it is designed to make your skin feel pampered. I love slathering my skin with the Little Black Dress lotion . I picture the shops of Michigan Avenue and Rodeo, walking in a pair of Christian Laboutins swinging my Louis Vuitton in the kickiest black dress as I go to an event or on a date. It has a patchouli and musky scent with some sandalwood . And you can slather some on your man as well. This one is great for that Valentines love fest.

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Lavender has such a calming effect and that can be a wonderful thing in our modern crazy world. Lavender and Clay face soap marries the lavender with the skin and takes your stressed skin down a few notches while it cleanses and moisturizes your skin. The peppermint and lavender foot and body balm continues the de stressing process. I just feel better after I take a whiff of the lavender soap . Maybe I will get some to put in with my lingerie to pamper it as well. I am ending my review of Simply Eden with my absolute favorite and that is the Sweet Orange Chili Pepper body mousse. It reminds of the orange groves of Florida where I spent a large part of my childhood. It also reminds me of the bright future in California. And hurray its a citrus fest! It even contains real orange juice to give it that citrusy feel , with that little tang. Mix it with shea butter and cocoa butter to make your skin smooth and ease dry skin.

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Bulldog Alehouse – A Place to Just Hang Out For Good Times and Good Food

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There is a new place in town. It is a great place for that business meeting , to sit down and watch that championship game, and also the food and drinks are top notch. Bull Dog started in places like Carol Stream and Aurora and now slowly but surely, it is making its way into the Windy City. We got the chance to visit the newest Bulldog right down the street from us.

There was just so much food to choose from that one visit just won’t do it. The bar is well stocked with wines and brews. They even have some special cocktails that we will try when it gets warmer. But with so much to try , we decided to go with our server’s recommendation and munch on some starters. They range from the super spicy jalapeno poppers where the filling is actually in real jalapeno peppers to the loaded chicken nachos. When they say loaded, they mean it. These nachos are covered with cheese, sour creme, and fresh guacamole. (Everything is made in house) Chunks of chicken are thrown in to make it a taste experience. You can get them with or without the jalapenos. They also have wings with (count em) fourteen sauces. You can even get boneless wings and on Thursdays they are only 89 cents with a beverage. Their pizza is a winner too. I paired this food with a glass of Angry Orchard cider. Ciders are featured here too.

The entrees are meals in themselves. We tried the macaroni and cheese and I got to tell you , it is the best mac and cheese that we have tried in a while. The sauce had that cheesy flavor and the bread crumbs on top added to the dish. If you want, they will also add andoule sausage , chili , or chicken to the mac and cheese. But for the record, if you are purist , the mac and cheese will be the ultimate comfort food. Good to know with Lent coming up.

Burgers are works of art at Bulldog. The burgers are big and there is a wide variety of toppings that you can enjoy. You can put an egg and ham on a sandwich and put  it between two waffles. Cheese is the word with American, Swiss, and Goat cheese. You can even get a sandwich with a pear on it. Jen is such a purist that she had to order the American burger. It definitely made two meals.  I opted to try one of the salads and a wrap. Salads and wraps are stuffed with only the good stuff and the dressings are made right in the restaurant . The salads are filled with only good and natural things. I tried the goat on a date and there was plenty of grilled chicken and avocado in it. The bang bang shrimp wrap has a yummy chili sauce that had a little kick to it. I also had to have one of my faves and that is the reuben with curly fries. The sandwich was on toasted marble rye with a stack of corned beef.

The desserts we tried were scrumptious . The doughnuts came with homemade sauces that were rich and thick. The chocolate was my favorite . as well as the raspberry . I really liked the other dessert , the apple crumble. Slices of apple were put in layers and topped with ice cream and covered with a crumb crust. The apple crust reminded me of something that my mother made and it took me back home to Ohio. That is another feature of this place is with so many dishes, no matter if you come from California or Ohio, you will find something that reminds you of home and that is so important with so many transfers and students that come from different parts of the country. Bulldog is also a great place to go to with mom and dad when they say they want to take you and your new friends out. There are specials every night like dollar burger night and the all you can eat fish fry on Friday.There is also a 6.99 lunch menu and food for the kiddies as well.  With great food like this, Bulldog is a welcome addition to the neighborhood and we hope they will be around for quite a long time.

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Say Goodbye to Winter with the Midwest Rum Fest

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It has been a long winter and its time to celebrate. What is more festive than enjoying some yummy rum cocktails? Not only that , you would learn about the rum industry and how to make some of these drinks.

Be part of the 3nd Annual MidWest Rum Festival Returns To Chicago

April 8 / Logan Sqaure

TheRumLab.com is proud to celebrate the 3rd Annual MidWest Rum Festival on Saturday, April 8 at Logan Square Auditorium (2539 N Kedzie Blvd) in Chicago.

The USA is considered one of the most important countries in the entire rum industry. Before the American Revolution, rum was the most consumed spirit, and now experiencing a renaissance. The Rum Lab – program focused on becoming the Official Rum Expo throughout the northern USA. The RumLab team are the producers of the NY Rum Fest, Taste of Rum Puerto Rico, the official national rum fest along with the California Rum Festival. Each event attracts hundreds of attendees ranging from, trade, rum aficionados, tourists and locals.

The event is divided in two sessions from Noon – 5:30pm.

The Spirit Industry Session consist of a one hour program (Noon – 1pm) offering industry professional the opportunity to network with brand representatives, attend training seminars, taste a wide variety of rums and mingle with industry colleagues. Tickets: Early Bird: $25.00 / Week of event: $35.00.

The Rum Aficionado Grand Tasting Session consist of a four hour program (1:30pm – 5:30pm) offering the attendees the opportunity to taste new rums, attend brand seminars and mixology demos, as well as local artists booths. Tickets: Early Bird: $70.00 / Week of event: $90.00.

est speakers include:

  • Bryan Davis – Bryan Davis is most noteworthy for inventing and patenting the first process documented to successfully replicate the effects of barrel ageing of distilled spirits in a laboratory (the Davis method). He is also the founder of Lost Spirits an award winning distilled spirits manufacturing company which uses the technology to manufacture its products as well as license the technology to third parties.

  • Richard Seales – Richard Seales is the master distiller and blender at both Foursquare Distiller & R. L and is based out of Barbados.

  • Jerald O’Kennard – Jerald O’Kennard is a beverage contributor to CNBC, BusinessWeek TV, and BBC’s Radio International and is often quoted by the New York Times Business 2.0, Wall Street Journal, Men’s Journal, Reuters, and other national and international publications on the subjects of wines, beers, and spirits.

  • Nicholas Feris – Nicholas Feris started Seattle’s first rum society, The Rum Collective.

Tickets can be purchased at  http://www.midwestrumfest.com/buy-tickets/. For more information visit http://www.midwestrumfest.com/.

Here is a special link that lets people save 50%

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2017-midwest-rum-festival-chicago-tickets-30211044046?discount=CTC

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Beauty is Perfection at EGA Salon and Spa – a review

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We all have busy lives. They involve luncheons, meetings, auditions,shopping, taking care of our families and a million other things. But sometimes with the kids, the job, and the significant other, we forget to treat ourselves. Thanks to a couple friends, I found a great place right in Lakeview  that not only makes you beautiful , they make you feel like a star.

With this blog and my acting career, you never know when you are going to be going to an event or hopping on a plane. So this is definitely the place to go when you have got a full plate and not much time. They treat you like a queen. EGA has many services, but I decided to try them out with one of their signature manicures. It was a pleasurable experience and I will definitely be back.

I walked in and was immediately greeted by none other than the owner, Erika Gonzalez Arandia. Erika is the perfect example of women empowerment . The salon  was her dream and the spa has only been on Halsted for eight months. Erika comes from Bolivia and has worked in Buenos Aires, La Paz , and New York before she came to Chicago . The spa- salon is truly her vision.  She was very hospitable and offered a large selection of beverages. I was quite excited to find out that Erika uses OPI for manicures and pedicures. There was so many to choose from, even some of the colors that I had. I finally found a shade of purple and prepared myself for the pampering. Pampering was the exact thing that I got. Erika is an expert at what she does and she makes the customer feel like they are old friends. I love the idea that i was made welcome and for once I could actually relax my wrist . No tenseness there. The mani was quick, my nails were completely dry with no smears, and Erika even helped me on with the coat so I would be free to just hold my drink and enjoy the beautiful sunshine .

Erika will welcome you as well. EGA also will travel to events, proms, and weddings as well. They take care of you from head to toe. Visit them today at 3009 N Halsted in Boystown. Call 773-975-HAIR.

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Erika was awesome and such a sweety . She will take care of you too. Thanks for the great manicure and the hospitality.

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The finished product and in less than a half hour…

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Things Are Heating Up at Meerath Kabob House

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Saturday night is the perfect time to gather with friends and try something new. That is just what we did last Saturday night. One of my favorite types of food is Indian- Pakistan and that is because when I first came to Chicago, I worked on Devon Avenue. It was a new world for me of spices and dishes. Once again, we had been given an invite to visit one of the quaint bistros that line the street known as “Little India.”  Each restaurant has its own dishes and its own personality. Meerath definitely had that.

Each dinner has to start with a beverage and on Devon , it starts with lassi. We have had sweet lassi , salty lassi, and different fruit flavors . This lassi had kind of a combination sweet /salty flavor with nutmeg sprinkled as a garnish. I love lassi , but I also like a sweet lassi and defintely love flavored lassi. There was plenty of water and it was definitely needed.

We started our taste adventure with the BBQ platter. Food at Meerath is char broiled and when you walk in , you can see where it is cooked. The leg and thigh were flavorful, but unfortunately too spicy. The sausage was also tasty, but made us run for the water glass. That is what is really great, Meerath also will make the food to your liking. If it is too hot, they will tone it down a little. They brought out a few naans, but my favorite was the garlic naan. It actually reminded me of garlic bread, but healthier. The chicken reshmi handi had a sauce that brought the temperature down and neutralized the spices. I also enjoyed the creaminess and the flavor of the coconut and green chilies. The bilochi kabob had an abundance of meat with the combination of beef and mutton. This too was a little more palatable to my American taste. Every dish that we tried was absolutely delicious and filled with flavor.

We always finish with dessert , and tonight we really went out on a limb. We dove into the culture fully with a regional dessert, carrot pudding. Though it was healthy , i think i prefer a chocolatey , gooey one . It certainly tastes better.

If you want to try something new and exciting, with a little bit of spice, then wander down to 2657 W Devon Avenue . They have take out and delivery so you can order from Grub Hub. They will be happy to lead you on a gastronomical adventure. Namaste.!

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The chicken tikka and sheekh kabab are  one of the tasty dishes you’ll find at Meerath Kabob House

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Healthy and very Indian is the Carrot pudding

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Winter Has a Little Bit More Flavor Thanks to Wyder’s Cider

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I have never really been a beer person since college. I like my drinks with fruit and sweet. That goes for cocktails and wine as well. I drank beer in college because that is what you do in college, drink beer from kegs and play beer pong.

I got to try during the holidays a yummy cider that hails from British Columbia. It figures that it comes from Canada . They seem to know beer and liquor up there very well. Back in the seventies, my grandfather used to bring Canadian liquor and beer back into the states. He would only drink Canadian beer. This is the perfect marriage of beer and cider and as an Ohio girl, i am loving it. I grew up around cider and apples.

Wyder’s Cider comes in a few flavors, but I think that the one that has the most flavor is the wild raspberry. It is sweet, but not too sweet with a crisp flavor. The raspberry taste brings to mind summers by the lake and berry picking. The light taste is great with popcorn and burgers especially.

If you want to learn more go to their web site

https://www.wyders.com/

dry-raspberry-ciderMy favorite

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Small Plates but Big Taste Awaits You at Knife and Tine

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In the course of time, we have gotten to try so many cuisines. We have chomped on burgers and greasy fries, we have had so much pizza, and have dined everywhere from five star restaurants to holes in the wall. This time , we have found a real treasure that has been lauded in magazines and on television. The best part is that it is located right in Lincoln Park and the food is a gourmet delight. Unique food and a unique name await you at Knife and Tine.

You couldn’t walk ten feet without feeling the festive holiday spirit. The bistro was filled with out of town guests and holiday revelers. Candlelight gave a mellow feel with the jazz piped into the restaurant. Knife and Tine prides themselves on their wine list and other libations. The mixologist is truly an artist with shaker and liquors. I  wanted to try one of these concoctions , but didn’t feel like a cocktail. Instead, I got a mocktail that tasted tropical and fruity. The bartender also was glad to tell me what was in the drink and how simple it would be to construct the drink. Everyone is knowledgeable and friendly which makes for a pleasant dining experience. Everything is made in house too. The rolls are a dream with the flavored butter for the evening. On that particular evening, it was sea salt and lemon pepper. Delish.

There were so many wonderful starters that I wouldn’t know which one to pick.  We decided to go with the soft , sourdough pretzel. The best part of the pretzel was the caramel glaze on the top . The dip was made of horseradish cheddar cheese and there was no heat in it what so ever, only cheesy goodness. Perfect for a cold, winter night. The macaroni and cheese had a unique taste that I found out was beer and bacon sausage. Once again it was more robust than other establishments. I opted to try one of the delicious salads and Jen got a burger once again.

I had already vowed that in the new year I would eat healthier. The roasted cauliflower salad was the perfect option for that. The cauliflower was marinated with an in house brown butter vinagrette with goat cheese dusted on top with arugula and cherry tomatoes. Grilled chicken completed the salad hearty enough for a main dish. I got a taste of the burger too. It was meaty and the sauce they used was aptly named awesome sauce. I think I liked it a little more than her because I love carmelized onions and special buns. Jen is a traditionalist when it comes to burgers. She is not that daring.

If you have already made a resolution to give up dessert, then this is not the place. All of the desserts are of gourmet quality. The fillings are pure magic , perfect for the diner. Looking over the menu, we chose the chocolate silk pie. The crust was as light as air , so was the silk part. Chocolatey and satisfying. Once again the key word is gourmet. This place is definitely not for the faint of heart when it comes to food. You have to be able to appreciate it. If you crave chain food, this may not be the place for you. If you can feel the food and the experience , then make your way to Knife and Tine for a evening you will not soon forget.

Knife and Tine is located in Lincoln Park at 1417 W Fullerton, right down from the Fullerton El station. The restaurant is open until late evening. They also serve a weekend brunch as well.

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The mocktail was as delicious as any cocktail

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Grilled cauliflower salad that was filled with color and flavor

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Light as air- french silk pie

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